Major home plan forum

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RESIDENTS and businesses are to get their say on controversial Standish housing plans.

The developers threatening to partially flatten an industrial estate and replace it with residential properties have announced two public consultations next month.

Land and property group HIMOR is asking for community feedback on Barrowcroft, its proposal for a new scheme of 190 homes on what is part of the apparently busy and thriving Bradley Hall Trading Estate they also own.

Two events have been organised: one on February 18 at Standish Unity Club and the second the following day at Standish Labour Club, with both running from 2pm to 7pm.

A spokesman for HIMOR, which has already given a number of industrial estate tenants including Prospect Brewery and Cheetham’s Coal Merchants notice to quit, said that they plan a separate consultation with them later in the year.

He said: “We’ll be inviting comment on the broader Barrowcroft proposition, though the principle of developing the Safeguarded Land off Rectory Lane is linked to the Core Strategy Examination, which you may know, will reopen on March 5.

“Principally though we will also be presenting for comment draft plans for phase one, which will be up to approximately 190 homes and a new local centre off Bradley Lane on what is currently part of the Bradley Hall Trading Estate.

“The exhibitions at the Unity Club and Labour Club will be open to the public, Standish residents and other interested parties are welcome to view the proposals, ask questions of members of the HIMOR team and leave feedback.”

Council Head of Planning and Transport Mike Worden said that if a planning application was submitted on the existing industrial estate, it would be assessed against the existing policies in the Unitary Development Plan.

And it is “good practice” for applicants to undertake public consultation prior to submission.

But he warned: “It must be stressed however that Bradley Hall estate is designated as a Primary Employment Area within the Unitary Development Plan where there is a presumption that employment uses would continue.”

Land to the south of the estate, between Bradley Lane and Rectory Lane, remains subject to consideration within the Core Strategy examination.

A division of Bill Ainscough’s Wainhomes and Langtree property empire, HIMOR caused shock waves in the village when the Post last year revealed its future housing proposals for the 100 acres of land between Rectory Lane and Bradley Lane.

Barrowcroft is described as a “small-scale, mixed-use, sustainable” urban extension to the east of the township.

And the firm insists the basis of the proposals is to breathe new life into Bradley Hall Trading Estate by investing funds into it generated from the development of “existing redundant and dilapidated areas.”

It admits to exploring the possibility of developing the “commercially inviable” areas of the trading estate for the previous 12 months and believe that a modernised estate would “contribute towards bringing Wigan’s employment portfolio up to 21st Century standards.”

Meanwhile the wider Barrowcroft proposals, which would include up to 550 new homes on land between the industrial estate and Rectory Lane, were, said HIMOR, a response to the former 2,500 home borough-wide shortfall identified by a Government inspector as part of the Core Strategy negotiations. It also includes transferring Barrowcroft Wood to community use, which HIMOR believe could become a “outstanding community facility.”